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commanteerMay. 09, 2013 - 09:29PM JST
Pollution is just part of the risk. There is always the risk of contaminated water or food, especially if you are unlucky enough to drink counterfeit "mineral" water. There is the risk of crime, it can be dangerous doing business unless you are backed by a large company. And then there's the considerable risk of dying in a traffic accident - they all drive like they learned from watching Mad Max.
Oh, and then there's the constant all day/all night drinking, smoking and carousing binges that go hand in hand with business in China. I remember reading that Chinese peasants have much longer life expectancy than a typical successful Chinese businessman. Not surprised.
Posted in: China career boost can come with health risks for expats
commanteerApr. 29, 2013 - 06:15PM JST
No worries. What women say they want and what they really want are not the same thing at all. They say they want an otaku, but their pheromones will make them act otherwise. That's why all these "ask women what they want" surveys are pointless.
Posted in: Beta males rejoice! 77% of women say geeky 'otaku' A-OK
commanteerApr. 23, 2013 - 08:32PM JST
These lists are always pretty much up to the whims of the author. The giant Sequoia forest in California is skipped, for example. As is Yakushima in Japan.
Posted in: Travel picks: Top 10 enchanting forests around the world
commanteerApr. 15, 2013 - 11:16AM JST
Nothing more atrocious than two pasty faced drunken Brits stripping off in the middle of town, except maybe using that as an occasion to post a completely irrelevant political rant.
Posted in: 2 British men arrested for trespassing in imperial compound
commanteerApr. 05, 2013 - 04:40PM JST
Drinking would definitely explain the economic policies of all 3 of them.
Posted in: Noda tells of nights of hard drinking with Geithner, Cameron
commanteerApr. 03, 2013 - 08:48AM JST
They want a nice pretty face with a pedigree to show off at official functions. She'll be fine. Ambassadors are by and large a dated concept, like royalty. Their function is primarily ceremonial.
Posted in: Japan enthusiastic about Caroline Kennedy's possible appointment as ambassador
commanteerApr. 03, 2013 - 08:44AM JST
I hate smoking, but I also hate a government that wants to control every little part of our lives. Bars and restaurants are private property. They should have the right to decide for themselves what they can do. If there's such a demand for non-smoking pubs, then open one up yourself and get rich.
Again, I think smokers are filthy - human chimneys with a pathetic addiction. But the road to fascism is built by people who think that every annoyance in life should be addressed by tighter state control over all of us.
And is foul as all that second hand smoke is, people are way overestimating the health risks. We live under a haze of pollution, drink contaminated water, eat foods filled with all kinds of carcinogens, antibiotics and other poisons, and yet still believe that second hand smoke is going to kill us? No sanity there at all.
Posted in: Have Japan’s anti-smoking laws gone too far?
commanteerMar. 22, 2013 - 12:16PM JST
Most economists agree that Japan is a bug in search of a windshield, and that inflation means it will hit that windshield that much sooner. Outcome: total economic collapse of the government. That means pensions, savings, insurance plans will all be worthless (or maybe just worth less if we're lucky). It also means that the large companies that depend of government contracts will fail. It's gonna be a mess. With luck, though, it means that the current corrupt government and bureaucracy will be washed away, and Japan will be able to grow again. On the other hand, people might freak out and just elect some fascist nutcase to run things.
In deference to Abe's scheme, there are no good solutions to the situation. Inflation provides one last burst for that fat cats to cash in before the crash.
Posted in: New BOJ chief pledges all-out efforts on deflation
commanteerMar. 20, 2013 - 08:36AM JST
Right about the kei trucks. If the US removes the trade barriers on those, they'll be all over the country. It's a great cottage industry as is, but demand is limited because of the trade restrictions.
I'm pro free trade, but I'm not happy about how that's worked out for the American diet. People eat overpriced garbage in the US, and enjoy it.
Posted in: U.S. senators want no exemptions for Japan over TPP
commanteerMar. 20, 2013 - 07:58AM JST
@HonestDictator..."garden of eatin'" chips are made by the Hain Celestial Group, a corporation that sells a billion dollars a year worth of processed foods. Nothing indie about it except the faux-indie marketing that's so common in "organic" foods. And that's what these companies want. They want to tear apart the tradition of eating wholesome, unprocessed local foods and replace it with processed junk foods that bring in high profit margins, huge waistlines, and new health problems.
commanteerMar. 09, 2013 - 11:07AM JST
I'm glad my wife doesn't buy into these fake holidays - Valentines is just as fake as White Day. What's romantic about being obligated to buy a gift for someone? "Honey, here are some flowers. Not because I love you, but because everybody has to do it."
Outside of the house, though, I just take it for what it is, and do my White Day shopping for those who provide the chocolates.
Posted in: Tokyo store concierge service helps clueless men shop for girlfriends
commanteerFeb. 18, 2013 - 08:04AM JST
@Christian. From the source you cited: "Several European "firms" — really front companies created by the Italian mafia — contracted with local Somali warlords to ship hundreds of thousands of tons of toxic industrial waste from Europe to Somalia."
So local Somalis conspired with the mafia to dump waste off their own shores. That's quite different from blaming it on Europeans in general. And of course these things happen when wars create chaos. The Scottish border had a long history of families forced into banditry because they were in the middle of a war zone.
Still, the fact remains that pirates murder innocent people for financial gain. They know what they're doing, and they know the risks. Sympathy should be given to their victims, not to them.
Posted in: 2 Somali pirates appeal 10-year jail sentence
commanteerFeb. 16, 2013 - 08:15AM JST
They think that sending them back to Somalia in 10 years is cruel and unusual punishment, and are demanding at least 20 years in Japan.
commanteerFeb. 14, 2013 - 07:11AM JST
GW, it wasn't your prediction I slammed, but the faulty (and disparaging) way you arrived at it.
Posted in: 4 cars torched in Fukuoka condo parking lot
commanteerFeb. 13, 2013 - 03:38PM JST
lucabrasi, that's true. But the same is true of smaller cities elsewhere in the country. The problem here is that it all gets reported as Fukuoka. At least this case actually was in Fukuoka City, and I'd give it a 50/50 chance of being yakuza, only because this would be the sort of thing they do. It could also be some guy with a grudge, or a lone goofball who likes to see things burn.
commanteerFeb. 13, 2013 - 11:59AM JST
GW, I get a little tired of people who have never even been here calling Kyushu/Fukuoka a yakuza haven. Fukuoka's a great city, and I see as many (or more) Yakuza in Kansai and Kanto. Burning cars could be yakuza, but Fukuoka city doesn't make that any more or less likely.
commanteerJan. 29, 2013 - 08:05PM JST
Of course China is worried. They want to catch too much flack when they decide to seize a few of Japan's islands.
Posted in: China concerned by Japan's move to boost military
commanteerJan. 25, 2013 - 09:15AM JST
Some people here actually believe the UN approximates an objective body? China can easily buy off or coerce member states to side with them on this issue. Japan has less to trade in this regard. I think China will get the islands one way or another. They want their blood. Japan, with an ageing population, fading economy and bankrupt government, cannot challenge China. I say this as someone who sides with Japan. The best they can hope for is to play the victim card for all it's worth when China finally does get these useless rocks.
Posted in: U.N. to consider validity of China's claim over disputed islands
commanteerJan. 05, 2013 - 01:59PM JST
News hacks who write "enormity" when they mean "enormousness." It's often unintentionally funny, as enormity means hugely evil or terrible.
In more casual use, phrases like "nuff said" annoy me. It's the equivalent of making an assertion in an argument and then saying it was so clever that no rebuttal is possible. Usually the statement that precedes "nuff said" is several time zones away from clever.
Posted in: Which English words or expressions really annoy you?
commanteerDec. 12, 2012 - 01:19PM JST
Silly me. I always assumed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was all about...you know... rock and roll. Apparently not.
Posted in: Disco queen Donna Summer to join rock Hall of Fame
May. 22, 2013 - 11:41AM JST
Ah yes. Price fixing. A long-honored "tradition" in J-business.
Just like pizza places, the hotel industry…
Posted in: Denso execs to plead guilty to price fixing in Toyota case in U.S.
Xbox 360 won’t work on the new system
Well that sucks, I don't have any space…
Posted in: Microsoft touts Xbox One as all-in-one entertainment
May. 22, 2013 - 11:39AM JST
Don't feed the troll, folks.
Posted in: Bad eggs
May. 22, 2013 - 11:37AM JST
I smell a troll...
Posted in: Ishihara advises Hashimoto to stop tweeting
So this is how you build a house of cards. Cool
Let's see what happens when…
Posted in: Gov't panel warns of dangers if debt not addressed